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Florida Conservation Voters

Bill Galvano
Steve Newborn / WUSF Public Media

The first meeting of a task force that will look at building three new toll roads through rural areas of Florida met Tuesday in Tampa, in what was described as a defining moment for the future of the state.

The plan would expand the Suncoast Parkway from the Tampa Bay area to the Georgia border; extend the Florida Turnpike west to connect with the Suncoast Parkway; and add a new multi-use corridor, including a toll road, from Polk County to Collier County.

Last year, a judge ruled the Florida legislature ran afoul of a constitutional amendment directing a certain amount of money be set aside for environmental spending. It seemed like a victory for environmentalists.  the amendment’s backers have filed a brief in an appeal of the case, saying the judge may have overstepped.

Legislative advocacy group Florida Conservation Voters is asking new leadership in the State Capitol for a joint select committee on climate change.

Photo courtesy the National Parks Service.

Environmentalists are calling for more spending on land and water conservation as the Florida Legislature ends its session Friday.